Sports Nutrition Graduate Programs

A graduate degree program in sports nutrition can provide you with the knowledge and experience you need to provide nutritional guidance and services to student, professional or recreational athletes in a variety of traditional and non-traditional settings. To learn more about program availability, including online options, prerequisites, course topics, job outlook and salary, read on! Schools offering Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Sports Nutrition Graduate Programs Are Available?

If you're looking for a graduate level program in sports nutrition, you can consider programs such as a Master of Science (MS) in Sports Nutrition, MS in Exercise and Sports Nutrition and MS in Sport and Exercise Science with a concentration in nutrition. These master's programs are available to help Registered Dietitians (RD) or other eligible candidates acquire the practical and scientific background they need to understand the relationship between nutrition and physical activity. Some programs may also include preparation for the Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics Examination, offered by the Commission for Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

Learning outcomes include the ability to organize and provide nutritional counseling, education and services to community groups, individuals and teams involved in athletics and exercise. You can also learn how to conduct nutritional assessments and interventions, pursue research in the field or oversee catering and food services at camps, sporting events or other related venues. Doctoral students may also find specialized Doctor of Philosophy in Nutritional Sciences programs with electives in sports nutrition.

Program OverviewMaster's and doctoral programs, optional board certification available, learn to provide nutritional counseling and conduct assessments
Online AvailabilityNo master's programs, but some certificate programs are available online
PrerequisitesBachelor's degree, relevant coursework, GRE scores, possibility of Registered Dietitian's certificate
Common TopicsHealth science core courses, biomechanics, kinesiology, sports techniques and testing
Job Outlook (2016-2026)15% employment growth for dietitians and nutritionists*
Median Annual Salary (2018)$60,370 for dietitians and nutritionists*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Can I Earn It Online?

Currently, master's degree programs in sports nutrition programs are only available on campus. However, some schools do offer post-graduate certificate programs in sports nutrition online. The programs can be completed in one or two years and include a few of the same courses found in the on-campus master's degree programs.

What Are the Prerequisites?

In general, admission requirements include having a bachelor's degree from an accredited school with relevant coursework as well as submitting Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and letters of reference. Some programs also require you to have a current a Registered Dietitian's certificate.

What Courses Will I Take?

The curriculum for a master's degree program in sports nutrition includes core studies in health science along with sports nutrition electives in topics like biomechanics and kinesiology or the relationships shared by food, culture and community. Students may also pursue optional topics in sports techniques and testing or the environmental aspects associated with physical exercise, among other subjects. To earn the degree, you complete approximately 33-43 credits of coursework, and some programs may require an exam, internship and/or a thesis.

Core or elective courses in a graduate sports nutrition program may include the following:

  • Advanced and clinical sports nutrition
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Cardiorespiratory evaluations
  • Behavioral change
  • Dietary supplements, including minerals and vitamins
  • Exercise and disease
  • Exercise physiology
  • Nutrition and exercise performance

What's the Career Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 15% increase in job opportunities for dietitians and nutritionists from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations. According to the BLS, these professionals earned a median annual wage of $60,370 in May 2018.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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